Friday, 10 June 2016

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

The Happiness Hypothesis - Putting Ancient Wisdom and Philosophy to the Test of Modern Science

Jonathan read loads of ancient works of ancient wisdom

Indian - Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Buddha sayings
China - the Analects of Confucius, the Tao te Ching, writings of Meng Tzu and others
Meditterean - Old and New Testaments, Greek and Roman philosophers, the Koran

You have to love a book who's author has read the type of texts above and which has the following sentence in its first paragraph "Wisdom is now so cheap and abundant hat it floods over us from calendar pages, tea bags, bottle caps and mass email message forwarded by well-meaning friends."

As a social psychologist and lecturer, Haidt uses quotes to help explain the big ideas in psychology such as "There is nothing wither good or bad, but thinking makes it so" (Shakespeare) to summarise the idea that our emotions, our reactions to events, and some mental illnesses are caused by the mental filters through which we look at our world.

Or his own analogy of the conscious, reasoning part of the mind being like a rider on the back of an elephant who only has limited control.

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